Prepare, train, recover: 3 pillars for the next generation of golf-athletes

The PGA TOUR, the organizer of the main professional golf tours played primarily by men in the United States and North America and most of the events on the flagship annual series of tournaments, is changing. It all take place in the training room and now has two mobile wellness centres with Technogym equipment to help bring continuity to the pro golfers. One centre is dedicated to fitness, while the other has a focus on therapy and recovery. The trailers will drive 24,000 miles annually to all tournament locations. The PGA TOUR Player Performance Center is a mobile fitness and therapy center, used by players each week on the PGA TOUR and on PGA TOUR Champions. The facilities are staffed by professional physical therapists, chiropractors, and athletic trainers who assist players in rehabilitative and preventive care, as well as personal conditioning and stretching programs.
The PGA TOUR co-sanctions more than 130 tournaments on the PGA TOUR, PGA TOUR Champions, Web.com Tour, PGA TOUR Latinoamérica, Mackenzie Tour-PGA TOUR Canada and PGA TOUR Series-China. Worldwide, PGA TOUR tournaments are broadcast to more than 1 billion households in 226 countries and territories in 23 languages.

On the PGA TOUR® there has been a visual shift in the training regimen of today’s golf-athlete compared to previous years. Golfers’ training is changing. Athletic Training and warming-up play more and more an important role in the game and in golfers’ life.

Damon Goddard, the founder of Goddard Sports Performance & Nutrition in Dallas, Texas and the performance and health coach for PGA (among others), explain us how the scenario is changing over the years, and how to be trained properly and ready to make the difference in the game.
Most of these athletes are up early and in the gym, preparing their bodies for the rigor of the sport. They have a strategic game plan with workout programs, nutrition strategies, and pre and post-round protocols. Many, if not all, have surrounded themselves with a team of professionals including a swing instructor, strength coach, physiotherapist, nutritionist, and mental coach, as they seek to gain the advantage over their opponents. Every stroke counts in this game and they know that taking care of their bodies and minds is essential if they want to enjoy a successful career on tour.

Golf between present and past

The shape of the golf game is changing thanks to a younger generation of highly athletic golf athletes on tour today. The evolution of the game is evident with the increased ball speed and distance. In 2018-19 season there have been 15 tour winners under the age of 30. Many of these younger golf athletes come from a background of playing multiple sports and have been groomed in long term athletic development protocols. They are extremely fit and are amply prepared to withstand the toll of playing on tour.
“I have been privileged daily to work with some of the most talented golfers in the world. I have also been in the sports performance industry for over 20 years now and have seen a significant shift in strength and conditioning for golf athletes. We will call this a shift in the performance paradigm. As sports have evolved, athletes have been working on getting bigger, faster and stronger,” says Damon Goddard.

“This often happens at the expense of how well the body moves and how aligned the muscle and joints remain. This can have enormous consequences, leading to a person who is bigger, faster, stronger and more powerful, but lacking proper joint mobility and movement control in the muscles of the hips, stomach and back. Overuse injuries are the result. This is the equivalent of placing a Porsche engine in a Honda frame. It may perform well for a brief moment, but the framework will not be able to handle the power and torque in the long run.”

The 3 pillars for younger athletes

What have these athletes learned at the elite level and can be applied to the average avid golfer? There are three facets to conditioning that these young, elite players have mastered: prepare, train, and recover. Consider this “building the framework” for the Porsche engine that Goddard mentioned earlier. These athletes know that there is a time for building strength, speed, and power, but they also recognize that they must establish the framework to handle the requirements of such an engine.

Prepare

Movement predicts injury risk. It is recommended that you schedule a time with someone that can properly assess movement efficiency as it pertains to the golf athlete. With this information an athlete will begin an exercise program that is focused on movement efficiency improvement and reducing the risk of injury. Areas of focus will be on increasing mobility and increasing stability. Goddard says, “Where there is freedom of motion, there is freedom of mind out on the course.
Training with Kinesis by Technogym sets the objective and the target on the subject's motor qualities. Thanks to the freedom of movement that this machine allows us to obtain, in fact, attention is paid to how exercises and motor gestures are performed with the aim, thanks to an ever-present overload, of improving their quality in order to make any movement in everyday life more fluid and profitable.

Working on the control of the body in motion and on the fluidity of the gestures with an overload that is always present, this means overcoming resistance at infinite angles in three-dimensional space.

Train

Integrated performance training will continue to focus on reducing the risk of injury and maximizing athletic performance. By adopting integrated performance training the athlete will see immediate translation into on-course performance. Technogym’s SKILLMILL, the non-motorised treadmill perfect for power, agility, stamina and speed training, SKILLTOOLS, and Cable Stations are used by the best players in the world every week on Tour. With data driven feedback the athlete has a greater understanding of progress and can enhance performance every day.
With mywellness you can track all your activities in the gym or outdoors, measuring the kilometers covered and calories burned. Mywellness is the only ecosystem for a connected fitness user experience that has redefined access to the world of wellness and health. The Digital Fitness Revolution in daily training. Users can easily manage their lifestyle, data and training programs. Anywhere and anytime on both equipment and smartphones. This is the only way they can enjoy a totally personalised Wellness on the Go experience.

Recover

The golf-athlete understands that improper recovery behaviors will lead to increased fatigue. Fatigue leads to decreased performance and injury risk. By addressing how well they rest, refuel, and recover the athlete will significantly reduce the risk of injuries and maximize on course performance.
About Damon Goddard
Damon Goddard, PES, CGFI-3, MCHC is the founder of Goddard Sports Performance & Nutrition in Dallas, Texas. He is the performance and health coach for a host of PGA, LPGA, Web.com, Symetra, Collegiate, and elite level junior golf athletes. He has helped produce the Major Champions, Web.com POY, PGA ROY, Tour event champions, Collegiate Champions, Junior level champions.

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